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— Claire C.
Film Reviews
Remembering Rightly

Many of us are probably familiar with at least one variation of the Harry Truman quote, “I never gave anybody hell! I just told the truth, and they thought it was hell.” Perhaps less well known is Truman’s even more telling observation, “The only thing new in the world is the history you do not know.” Both of these sayings came to mind after previewing Almudena Carracedo and Robert Bahar’s film, “The Silence of Others.” This was Mountain Shadow’s selection for June, 2019, and you can read the full review by clicking on the image above.

A Thing of Value

ONE LAST DEAL - An elderly art dealer, Olavi ,is about to retire, but he cannot imagine life without work. At an auction, an old painting catches his attention. Olavi suspects it is worth much more than its starting price, which is low because its authenticity hasn’t been confirmed. Olavi’s instincts kick in. He decides to make one last deal, with the help of his estranged grandson. This touching film from Finland was Mountain Shadow’s selection for May, 2019. Click on the image above to read our Review.

Purgatory Revisited

In Christian Petzold’s film TRANSIT, the main character Georg has assumed the identity of a controversial dead writer, in his attempt to obtain a travel visa and escape a fascist regime that is closing in. While the film is adapted from a 1944 novel by the same name, the film takes place today in the city of Marseille; as if to suggest refugees seeking political asylum still occurs …. The film was Mountain Shadow’s selection for April, 2019, and the review can be read by clicking on the image above.

Claiming a Life Worth Living: Putting a Little Kindness Back in Humankind

“Capernaum” (“Chaos”) won Jury Prize at Cannes, and was a 2019 Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language Film. It was Mountain Shadow’s selection for April, 2019. While it is not based on a true story, it is the truest possible story; because all the people who portray all the fictional characters in the film Nadine Labaki wrote and directed are not professional actors, but ordinary, real people who depict what it means to be human. Capernaum is a tough, gritty, episodic film to watch; where the best and worst in human-kind are exposed in the chaos humans can experience, inflict on one another, and endure. Click on the image above to read the full Mountain Shadow Review.

A Life with a View

Like all bio-pics PAULA combines historical fact about the early 20th century expressionis artist with a filmmaker’s imagination that fills in those places of unknowing with universal themes found in what is most common and familiar to the human story. It is in this sense that PAULA is far more than an early women’s empowerment story, or pictorial lecture in art history. To read a Mountain Shadow review of our January selection, click on the photo above.

Sink, or Swim

In the comedic British film, “Swimming with Men,” stayin’ alive is the challenge facing Eric, a middle-aged accountant executive whose hum-drum career, marriage and family life has become so utterly and predictably dull and meaningless that his only escape is swimming solo laps after work. That is, until one day he finds himself sinking – both literally and metaphorically -- to the bottom of the pool. Then he opens his eyes and sees before him the unlikeliest form of re-immersion, initiation and rebirth. His revelatory discovery is that it’s all about coming alive once again, while he’s in the water. To read the full Mountain Shadow review, click on the image above.

VISION: For Those Who Have Eyes to See It

Adorableness is a given when it comes to puppy movies. It’s also the “Ahhhhh-factor” when people so much as walk past the movie poster of Dana Bachman and Don Hardy’s documentary, “Pick of the Litter.” But it’s serious business when highly bred litters begin their training at facilities like Guide Dogs of the Blind (San Rafael), or Guide Dogs of the Desert (Palm Desert, California). To read a review of Mountain Shadow’s selection for November, 2018, click on the image above.

When Books Can Kindle

Bookshops come and go. But the larger theme behind “The Bookshop” is an allegorical tale familiar to us all in all its many guises; where the resilience and gumption of any underdog is pitted against entrenched and formidable powers. To read a Mountain Shadow review of our selection for October, 2018, click on the image above.

The 4th Annual Short Film Competition

Mountain Shadow’s 4th Annual Short Film Competition was held Sept. 14th – 15th at the Las Lomas Theater. Twenty-two volunteer-member jurors previewed 539 submissions and selected ten Finalists to present live-action, animated and documentary films in person for audience balloting and cash awards. Click on the image above to find out who won, and view a terrific YouTube video of the filmmaker’s Q&A with the audience!

Love the One You're With

“The Cakemaker” - How does one grieve the loss of a lover? Especially a clandestine love who cannot be revealed? Seeking solace and resolution, two abandoned lovers instead try to love the one they’re with; in this critically-acclaimed German-Israeli drama that was Mountain Shadow’s selection for August, 2018. You can read Mountain Shadow’s film review by clicking on the image above.